Round 08 Detroit

  • Dixon, Ericsson Run 1-2 for Honda in Detroit

    Recovering in the best possible fashion from a crash and last-place finish in the opening race, Scott Dixon ran a longer opening stint than many of his rivals, and won the second round of the Dual in Detroit doubleheader NTT Indycar Series weekend.


Report

Dixon, Ericsson Run 1-2 for Honda in Detroit

Detroit, June 2, 2019

  • Scott Dixon recovers from Saturday race crash to win Sunday finale
  • Marcus Ericsson completes 1-2 result for Honda
  • Honda drivers take nine of top-10 finishing positions

Recovering in the best possible fashion from a crash and last-place finish in Saturday’s opening race, Scott Dixon gambled on running a longer opening stint than many of his rivals, led a race-high 44 laps, and won Sunday’s second round of the Dual in Detroit doubleheader NTT Indycar Series weekend.  The victory was the first of the season for Dixon, and the Honda driver’s 45th career Indycar win.

Starting sixth on the softer compound Firestone “Red” sidewall tires, Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing team avoided the temptation of pitting during a very early, Lap 1 caution, enabling the defending series champion to complete the 70-lap race distance on just two pit stops.  Once in the lead for the third and final time on Lap 50, Dixon remained in front for the final 20 laps to the checkered flag, despite a total of five caution periods during the incident-filled race.

Formula One veteran, but Indy car rookie, Marcus Ericsson had his best finish of the season, taking second in his Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.  Ericsson was consistently one of the quickest of the “early pit stop” drivers, working his way from 12th on the grid to second at the race’s Lap 35 midpoint.  In the final laps, while unable to challenge Dixon for the win, Ericsson easily held off former series champion Will Power to hold on to second.

Honda drivers claimed nine of the top 10 finishing positions today, with Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti finishing fourth through sixth respectively.  Hunter-Reay managed to stay at the head of the inter-team contest despite a deflating rear tire during the final three laps.

Starting 22nd and last after transmission problems in qualifying, Graham Rahal also employed the two-pit-stop strategy used by Dixon to great effect, finishing seventh after a determined run from the rear of the field.  Zach Veach brought his Andretti Autosport Honda home eighth for the second consecutive day.

Sebastien Bourdais finished ninth, despite damaging the nose and front wings of his Honda after contact with Spencer Pigot on Lap 13.  Bourdais’ Dale Coyne team was able to repair the damage while keeping him on the lead lap and he then put in a stirring recovery drive.  Teammate Santino Ferrucci was another Indycar Series rookie to shine today, leading 20 laps – second only to Dixon – before finishing 10th.  

Next

Indy car’s five-week run of consecutive May-June event weekends concludes next week, as the series heads south to Dallas-Fort Worth for Round Nine and the first night race of the 2019 season, the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 8.

Comments

Scott Dixon (Andretti Autosport Honda)
Started sixth, finished first; first Indycar Series win of 2019, 45th career victory:

“Most of it was trying to keep the tires up to temperature [during the caution flags]. It was such a tricky situation, especially on the ‘blacks’ [harder compound primary tires] when they had a few laps on them.  I can’t thank the PNC Bank crew enough.  It was a rough day yesterday [with a crash in Saturday’s race] and I had a pretty good headache today and my wrist was pretty sore after that one.  I just drove the wheels off it and they did all the strategy.  The strategy is what nailed it and it feels fantastic.  I’m just happy for Honda and the whole PNC team.  We won in Detroit, it’s awesome.”

Marcus Ericsson (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda)
Started 12th, finished second; career-best Indycar finish in rookie season:

“It was amazing.  My first podium since 2013 [racing in GP2].  I just have to thank everyone at Arrow SPM and Honda, they work so hard all year.  You know, we’ve had so much bad luck earlier this season, and I’ve made some mistakes as well.  To finally get a result like this and be on the podium I think is a great reward for all the hard work.  Now we can build on this.”

Ted Klaus (president, Honda Performance Development)
on today’s second race of the weekend in Detroit:

“It was great to see Scott Dixon and the entire Chip Ganassi Racing team shake off the effects of the crash in yesterday’s race and perform so perfectly today.  It was a complete team effort and a richly deserved victory.  Congratulations also to Marcus Ericsson on his second-place run today, he seems to have found a home here in Indy car racing and we’re very happy to have him driving for us.  Finally, a shout-out to Santino Ferrucci for leading 20 laps today and showing both confidence and maturity while in the lead. This was a great weekend for Honda, Acura and HPD, with victories in IMSA, Indycar and the Baja 500.  Now we focus forward to Texas next week.”

Results

IndyCar Series 2019
Round 08: Detroit Race

Rank Driver (Team)
1 Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)
2 Marcus Ericsson (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)
3 Will Power (Team Penske)
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)
5 Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport)
6 Marco Andretti (Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian)
7 Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
8 Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport)
9 Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan)
10 Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing)
12 Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing)
13 Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)
16 Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing)
18 James Hinchcliffe (Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)

Photos